US Army Orders More Futuristic Goggles From Microsoft For Soldiers
The Army is paying Microsoft more than $100 million for the new order.
Microsoft has been awarded another contract from the US Army for another order of the Xbox giant's mixed reality glasses for soldiers in the battlefield. According to Bloomberg (via The Verge), Microsoft gave the Army a batch of new headsets recently, with soldiers testing them out and noticing significant improvements over the last iteration of the headset, specifically reducing nausea. Due to the improvements, the Army is ordering more units from Microsoft.
The headsets are known as Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS), and are an evolution of the company's HoloLens product. The first edition of the headset caused headaches and nausea, soldiers reported, but this newest batch apparently fixes some of those issues.
A spokesperson for the Army told Bloomberg that the updated IVAS headset "demonstrated improvements in reliability, low light sensor performance, and form factor."
The Army gave Microsoft $40 million for the improvements to IVAS and another $125 million for ongoing development. In total the Army has said it will spend more than $20 billion over a decade on research and development of the new soldier technology with Microsoft.
According to CNBC, the goggles display a map and a compass to soldiers, and they also feature thermal imaging to see people in the dark. In Microsoft's original announcement of IVAS, the company said the headset will "keep soldiers safer and make them more effective."
"The program delivers enhanced situational awareness, enabling information sharing and decision-making in a variety of scenarios," Microsoft said.
HoloLens was highly touted as a potential game-changing consumer product when it was announced in 2015. Microsoft recently cut jobs on the HoloLens team, but the company remains committed to growing and evolving its mixed-reality business in the future.